Badger cull at Oak Park

Photos and captions generously supplied by Simon Evans

Last Tuesday evening saw Walsall Wood FC entertain Brocton at Oak Park – hoping for payback for their away defeat a few matches ago.

The football and result didn’t disappoint, which came as a welcome relief to Bill Shaw after Saturday’s somewhat lacklustre performance.

Bill wrote:

Hiya Bob,

A revenge win over the Badgers that puts us top of the table, albeit for only 24 hours as Quorn and Westfields can go above us if they win tonight’s easy looking home games.

Swanny went for experience, bringing in new signings Richard Huckfield, Lee Parsons and Nick Wright who opened his Wood goalscoring account with a 25 yard deflected effort on the stroke of half time.

Louis Harris is in contention for a starting place on Saturday here against Coleshill Town but the luckless Ashley Jackson is looking at three months out. We are at Sporting Khalsa on Monday as we try to score against them after failing to do so in four and a half hours last season.

A far more confident performance last night but the next two games are a real test of how good we are, watch this space, you know I’ll give an honest appraisal whether it’s good or bad.

It was good to see an old friend of the Wood there last night as Mick Roseblade put in a welcome appearance.

Walsall Wood 3 v 1 Brocton

Wood gained revenge for the opening day defeat by the Badgers, two goals by Joey Butlin in the first 15 minutes put Wood in the driving seat but they let the visitors back into the game before Nick Wright opened his goal account for Wood right on half time.

Wood started confidently, after only three minutes Lewis Taylor Boyce swung a cross into the centre of the box, a scramble developed, the ball falling eventually to Nick Wright to fire a first time effort high and wide. The first goal came on 12 minutes, Luke Adams marauding down the Wood right, his far post cross fired into the roof of the net by Joey Butlin. They combined again 3 minutes later, Adams again racing clear wide right crossing into the centre to find Butlin who calmly brought the ball down 10 yards out and under no pressure fired home past the exposed Aiden Stone in the Badgers goal.

Wood then retreated into their shell and on 25 minutes were nearly made to pay when visiting skipper Dan Lomas powered into the left of the Wood box, his vicious low cross shot well held by keeper Curtis Pond. On 34 minutes a ball over the top of the Wood defence saw Pond race from his area to kick clear from David Berks. It was Berks who reduced the deficit seven minutes later, Michael Williams crossed from wide on the right, the striker reading the ball perfectly to run past Wood defenders and tap the ball home.

Wood restored their two goal advantage right on the stroke of half time, a right wing corner was half cleared to Nick Wright 25 yards out, his thunderous first time effort deflecting off a defender and flying into the net.

Five minutes into the second half Butlin was fouled as he ran through right of centre, the free kick delivered beyond the left hand post, Richard Huckfields header back across goal going harmlessly wide.

On 59 minutes Jack Edwards raced through the Wood defence and from the right edge of the box hit a rising drive just too high.

Wood were content to keep the game low key but went to sleep on halfway after 70 minutes, Dominic Green intercepting a sloppy pass and racing for goal, Shawn Boothe saving Wood with a superb last ditch tackle.

The fright woke Wood up and a minute later substitute Corey Currithers cut in from the right before cleverly setting up Wright, he hit a rising drive that brought a brilliant full stretch save from Stone.

Close on time a Badgers left wing corner found its way to Lomas 25 yards out, his first time rising drive superbly saved by Pond at full stretch.

In the dying seconds a long ball forward was chased down by Currithers, Stone saved bravely at his feet but the ball ricocheted sideways to Currithers who ran on to fire into an empty net, the ball hitting the inside of the right hand post and staying out.

Wood two-nil

 ahead after 15 minutes relaxed instead of pressing home their advantage and almost paid the price, but Nick Wrights deflected goal right on halftime settle their nerves and they comfortably held the Badgers in the second half.

It’s another banana skin at home on Saturday with Coleshill Town the visitors before Bank Holiday Monday sees them at the Aspray Arena against Sporting Khalsa.

Bill Shaw

The Teams:

Walsall Wood – Pond, Adams, Deakin, Boothe, Huckfield, Parsons, Williams, H. Harris (c), Butlin, Wright, Taylor Boyce, Hayles, Birch, Aiton, Currithers, Edwards.

Brocton – Stone, Williams, Wilson, Taylor, Flowers, Davis, Edwards, Jones, Berks, Wilson, Lomas (c), Green, Devoir, Head.

Thanks to Bill for the report, as ever. Onwards and upwards!

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